Monday, February 8, 2010

What If I Don't Have All The Answers?

So far in our homeschooling adventure I'm feeling pretty smart. I've been able to explain addition, subtraction, grammar and phonics without having to resort to Google...yet. I haven't had to stop and look up an answer...yet. I don't need the answer keys in the back of the books...yet. But I know the day is coming, and approaching fast, when Ella is going to ask me a question and my brain is going to go completely blank. I'm pretty sure it will involve the semi-colon, but it may come sooner than that.

I choose to believe that when that moment comes I will have the humility and the good humor to be able to say, "that's a great question. I don't know the answer, let's go look it up."

This weekend in the middle of a blizzard I was confronted by the sudden realization, and accompanying panic, of not knowing the answer. There weren't any complex weather related questions asked, but as I watched the snow fall and fall, I was gripped by massive anxiety. I had no idea what to do in two feet of snow. My husband is a little busy in a war zone at the moment so it was just me and the kids and "Snowmaggedon" as the storm has been named and I was in charge. Me, a Southern California girl who doesn't like to be cold.

I looked at my sweet children, the weight of knowing that I was responsible for their safety settling heavily on my shoulders...and driving me straight to the good chocolate on the top shelf. I knew that I didn't know what to do. But Ella and Jack didn't know it. They were completely unfazed by the storm, totally at peace and anxious to get outside and play. They looked at me and figured that if Mommy wasn't scared then they didn't need to be either.

So here's what I learned...I won't always know the answer. But it's my reaction to not knowing that my kids will remember. Besides, there's always Google.


  1. Michelle, you have discovered one of the keys to leadership: act like you know what you're doing and people will follow you!

  2. If it makes you feel any better - we often admit that we don't know the answer and learn together with our students. Helps them learn researching skills, how to formulate a good question, and that it is OK to not know it all. ... At least that is how we have convinced ourselves.

    Love you!

  3. I love you so much I'd read your blog even if I didn't know who you were! :) Wait, I mean, you write so well that even knowing who you are, I recognize that I'd appreciate your writing style whether I knew you or not. Or something... Love you! As the Brits always said "Stay Calm and Carry On"